I asked my domestic helper for chicken for dinner last night.
Forgive the phonetics but I'm trying to create a little mood:
"Sir, wat CHEEK-en?"
"The live chicken," I said.
"Please 'chop chop' and 'fry fry,'" I added.
"Ah, sir," she said. "I know"
"Dee alibe one."
It is amazing what a difference a letter makes.
To go from "live" chicken to "alive" chicken changes the entire meaning. No, really, think about it.
The "live" chicken, my phrase, is the terse and morally evasive way of saying a chicken that is not on ice. It is the cowardly way, to imply the status of this avian is properly "not dead" and consequently "most fresh."
My domestic helper's way is the honest way.
She acknowledges that it is an animal. 'Cause, let's be real... until the animal is dead its flesh can't yet be meat.
Damn, she's right. The chicken is alive. My summary call to dispatch it for my dinner means I should at least confront the animal, no? Whether we agree or disagree about eating meat, we can agree that the animal deserves at least the respect to be acknowledged as existing--no?